Counting on … day 157

19th April 2022

The plight of refugees is topical. Their needs are something we as nations and globally must address and plan for. The acceleration of the climate crisis will add to the number of people forced to flee their homes. 

Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” 

Matthew 25:44,45

Even just as human beings x regardless of our faith –  can we  ignore the plight of people forced by fear to flee their homes? If we were in their position would we not want someone to help us, to give us something to eat and drink, clothes to keep us a warm, a roof over our head, and a reassurance of protection? 

“Love your neighbour as yourself” said Jesus repeating the commandment given in Leviticus. The commands in both Leviticus, Exodus and Deuteronomy are clear that the duty of care is just not to your kin but to the stranger and the alien. 

You must treat the foreigner living among you as native-born and love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:34

According to the UNHCR ‘An asylum-seeker is someone whose request for sanctuary has yet to be processed’. They are a person who is in the process of having their status as a refugee legally determined. To label such as person as being illegal is wrong. To remove that person from the place where they have come seeking safety, and exporting both them and their claim, is wrong. 

As Christians we should stand up and voice our complaint to the Government that what they propose is both abhorrent and wrong. Not to do so is to spurn Jesus’s teaching. Write or email to your MP and to the Home Secretary and make your voice heard. 

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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